(JNi.media) The Palestinian Authority’s security forces have foiled more than a hundred attacks since October 1, Walla reported on Thursday. Those attacks were at various levels of planning and execution, and in most cases it amounted to teenagers posting on the social networks they were going out to kill Jews, only to be arrested between their home and the nearest IDF checkpoint. It didn’t require great sleuth work, but the PA preventive action spared lives, including the lives of the young perpetrators.
Of course, the same Palestinian Authority generated the heated incitement to violence in its delusional “save Al-Aqsa” campaign, which began and egged on those sporadic outbursts in the first place. It’s the same Authority which has been defying almost every part of the Oslo peace accords, organizing terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians (most recently at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem), seeking statehood via the UN, fueling boycott drives against Israel, and now taking Israel to the International Criminal Court.
When it meets their own interests, the PA security apparatus occasionally works to locate and transfer illegal weapons to the Israeli authorities, and in particular, arresting Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, in part to keep them safe from the IDF, in part to keep Hamas from taking over the PA. On Thursday, the Hamas website reported that the Palestinian General Intelligence and Preventive Security forces arrested four Arabs because of their “political affiliation.”
It means the PA is only selectively delivering a service it was intended to deliver in full in the original peace accords—becoming a buffer between Israel and Arab terrorism. There’s a lot else that’s wrong with the PA—it could be democratic, it could work to improve the lives of its residents, it could encourage Israeli-Arab business enterprises, it could educate against anti-Semitic incitement instead of initiating and spreading it, but in the end the PA performs only some of its security mission some of the time.
Which is why, according to Ha’aretz, the Netanyahu cabinet spent the better part of Wednesday, following Secretary of State Kerry’s failed “stop the violence” visit, discussing the possibility of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, and whether or not Israel should stand in the way of such a collapse. A few ministers, most likely from the Bayit Yehudi coalition partner, argued that not having the PA is better than having it, advocating a laisez faire approach to the already self-destructing Authority.
Netanyahu convened his Cabinet based on information that the Palestinians are on the warpath against Israel in the international arena following Kerry’s failed efforts to squeeze some gestures out of Israel to calm the situation. Israel learned that the Palestinians are working on a UN resolution, either in the Security Council or the General Assembly, calling for international protection for the people of “the occupied Palestinian state.” Other intelligence suggests the PLO will rescind its 1993 recognition of the State of Israel, the very foundation of the Oslo Accords.
As mentioned above, the ministers also examined a scenario of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. The theme was not a willful dismantling of the PA by its chairman Mahmoud Abbas—a move he has threatened but no one takes seriously. The real possibility on the cabinet’s table was a combination of IDF pressure to curb terrorism, including curfews, limits on Arab transportation, and frequent checkpoints, coupled with an already weak economy, ushering in the PA’s collapse.
The IDF and Shin Bet representatives at the meeting were adamant against allowing such events to happen and warned against their civil and military implications.
However, according to a senior official who participated in the meeting and then informed Ha’aretz, some cabinet ministers, whose names he refused to mention, argued that the collapse of the PA may actually serve Israeli interests rather than harm them, and therefore Israel should not act to prevent such a scenario from materializing. Those same ministers argued that perhaps what the Palestinians are doing internationally and domestically against Israel today is more harmful than whatever awaits the Jewish State once there is no more Palestinian Authority.